Stillwater News Press


May 23, 2013

Kansas handles West Virginia, Sooners blank Bears


Most people expected West Virginia to trot out Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave for the Big 12 tournament opener against Kansas. They didn’t. The result? A stunning 7-2 loss to the Jayhawks — snapping Kansas’ six-game losing streak — in the lone upset of the first day of the tournament Thursday at Oklahoma City’s Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

“Well, obviously anytime you’re on a losing streak, in order to get things turned around, it starts with your starting pitcher,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said. “Thomas Taylor gave us the starting effort we needed to have to get the lead early. He managed to hold them off and keep them at bay until we could get the offense going.”

The Jayhawks (32-24) benefitted from timely hitting, tallying five runs over the final three innings — including a key two-run double by Tucker Tharp in the bottom of the eighth to blow the game wide open. Tharp went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Michael Suiter also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as well to lead the Jayhawks’ offense.

Thomas Taylor allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings of work to handcuff the West Virginia (31-26) offense.

Oklahoma State will play Kansas at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while West Virginia will face TCU at 4 p.m.

No. 4 Oklahoma 2, No. 5 Baylor 0

Jonathan Gray started the day throwing six straight balls, but that’s about all the trouble the junior from Chandler had as he silenced the normally potent Baylor offense with a three-hitter as the Sooners (37-19) opened the Big 12 tournament with a 2-0 win over the Bears.

“(Gray) definitely got stronger after the game went on,” Oklahoma catcher Anthony Hermelyn said. “Sometimes you got to go out there and settle the big guy down. He’s got great stuff, and you’ve got to remind him he has great stuff. He needs to have confidence with it and he showed that confidence throughout the game.”

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